Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Are Rottweilers Good Family Dogs? Trainability, Care & Lifespan

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Two rottweilers lying in the yard

The Rottweiler is a large, muscular dog that can look and sound intimidating. Their large size can leave many people wondering if they would make a good family pet, and the short answer is yes. Rottweilers can make great family pets, but there are several considerations to make before choosing the Rottweiler over other breeds. Keep reading while we discuss the needs, temperament, and other factors of Rotties so you can see if they are a good fit for your home.

Divider 1

Do Rottweilers Make Good Family Pets?

Rottweiler Temperament With Children

Rottweilers are large, so it’s natural to be concerned about a child’s safety around them. Toddlers can get knocked over easily by any large breed, including the Rottweiler, but they do a pretty good job of being careful and can make an excellent companion to a child. Rottweilers are fiercely protective and can bark a lot around strangers, so it may require an adjustment period if you bring a baby home later. However, as long as your Rottie is properly socialized as a puppy, they will grow to have a strong bond with the children.

Rottweilers Around Other Pets

If socialized early, a Rottweiler can get along well with other pets, and the experience will make it easier to bring more pets into the home at a later time. However, they tend to chase cats that come into the yard and can be aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex when out for a walk, so it will be important to keep them leashed. Having other family pets can reduce aggressive behavior on the part of the Rottie when you are away from home.

Image credit: Freepics4you, Pixabay

Rottweiler Grooming

The short hair of your Rottweiler will need next to no grooming, and an occasional brushing will be more than enough. Most other breeds require frequent brushings and even trimming, but the Rottweiler’s hair never gets that long. Rottweilers do shed, but most experts consider them moderate shedders at most. You will need to bathe the dog if it gets into something or develops an odor, but it’s not something you will need to do often, and often your Rottie will enjoy it. Remember to use a pet-safe shampoo when bathing your dog.

How Much Exercise Do Rottweilers Need?

Rottweilers are moderately active dogs and will need at least one hour of activity each day. They enjoy long walks and will also play frisbee and fetch. Mountain walks are a great way to help your dog expend the energy they have stored away, and they also enjoy swimming if you have access to water. A bored Rottweiler can begin misbehaving in the home, and they might start chewing things. Dogs that aren’t active enough can also become obese, leading to several health problems, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and joint issues. Canine obesity is a major concern in America, with more than 40% of dogs needing to slim down.

It’s easier for your Rottweiler to get enough activity if you have a large family with children, especially if you have a large yard. If you have few members in your family or live in an apartment, you will need to set time aside each day to take your pet for a long walk or to the park.

Rottweiler Temperament

Most Rottweilers are calm and good-natured. However, breeders can create them to be more hostile, which is common if they will be used to guard property. If possible, we recommend letting your breeder know you are looking for a family pet when placing your order. Rottweilers are easygoing and don’t much care what’s going on beyond their sight, so a privacy fence can be a great way to reduce barking at vehicles and people passing by. Early socialization will help your Rottweiler get along better with children and other pets and will get them accustomed to family and friends stopping over.

Image credit: kim_hester, Pixabay

Training Your Rottweiler

Rottweilers are intelligent dogs that can learn several tricks. The most important ones to teach your dog are Come, Down, Sit, Heel, and Stay. Once your dog understands these commands, they will be much easier to control in any situation. Hold short 5–10-minute training sessions with your dog each day. Consistency is important to get your dog into a learning routine, so don’t miss any days. Have your dog stand in a specific area and motion what you want them to do while you repeat the command. When your dog does what they’re told, give them a treat. It can take several weeks for your dog to learn the command, so be patient and never get angry, or your Rottie will not want to participate in any more training sessions.

Legal And Insurance Issues Of Owning A Rottweiler

Though most owners will agree it is undeserved, Rottweilers have gotten a bad reputation over the years. Many insurance companies will not cover homes with a Rottweiler as a pet, so you will need to check with your homeowner’s insurance to make sure there aren’t any conflicts. There may be other rules and regulations about owning this breed in your area as well, so we recommend contacting your local authorities if this is your first Rottweiler and you don’t see any others in your neighborhood.

Rottweiler Health

Rottweilers are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to some issues due to their size and genetics. Cataracts, aortic stenosis, cancer, and allergies are a few of the problems that have to do with genetics, while hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat, osteochondrosis, and others have to do with their size. Taking care to make sure your Rottie does not become overweight can help reduce the risk of size-related problems, while good breeding helps genetic disorders. You can learn more about the health issues facing your pet at the Rottweiler Health Foundation.

two rottweilers being affectionate
Image Credit: GingerMary, Shutterstock

Summary: Are Rottweilers Good Family Dogs

The Rottweiler makes a fantastic family dog. This breed is fiercely loyal and will protect your family with their life. It’s intelligent, can learn many tricks, and loves to play around with children. Early socialization will help make sure your Rottie gets along with the other family pets and is comfortable when you have guests. Rottweilers require very little grooming and are fairly healthy with a lifespan of 8–10 years. You will need to check with your homeowner’s insurance and possibly local laws to make sure you can own a Rottweiler, and you will also need to set aside some time each day for a walk or a run to keep your Rottie from becoming overweight. Generally, most people are able to own one of these dogs and will enjoy the happiness a Rottie brings them.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over our look into this unique breed and found it helpful and informative. If we have convinced you to give one of these dogs a try in your home, please share this discussion about if Rottweilers make good family dogs on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database